Photoelectron spectroscopy, low-energy electron diffraction, scanning tunneling microscopy and surface X-ray diffraction were used to investigate the growth of thin layers of bismuth on GaSb(110). At submonolayer coverages, growth of two-dimensional islands occurs. A uniform (1 x I)-reconstruction is formed at a coverage of one monolayer. A structural model derived from X-ray diffraction data is presented for this phase. The (1 x I)-phase consists of zigzag chains of bismuth atoms bonded alternately to the surface cations and anions of the bulk-terminated unrelaxed (110) surface. We propose that the (1 x 1)-phases formed by antimony and bismuth adsorbates on (110) surfaces of other III-V compound semiconductors are also described by the epitaxial continued layer model. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.